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The Cold & Flu Council Comes Out Fighting

Added: (Thu Nov 16 2000)


Following last year・s well publicised cold and flu .epidemic・, a panel of independent experts has formed called the .The Cold & Flu Council・.

The aim of the Cold & Flu Council is to encourage the public to take positive action. By raising awareness of the steps that can be taken both before and during a cold or flu, the Council hopes to help people to .fight back・ this winter.

The Cold & Flu Council Members
Each member is a specialist in an area related to the prevention, protection, or reduction in the impact of colds and flu;
h Professor Ron Eccles V Director, Common Cold Centre, Cardiff University
h Dr John Wilkinson V Head of Phytochemistry and Herbal Research, Middlesex University
h Fiona Dennis V Psychologist and Stress Counsellor, Priory Healthcare
h Dr Chris Steele V GP and resident medical expert on ITV・s .This Morning・
h Jeremy Clitherow MBE FRPharmS - Pharmacist
h Lyndel Costain BSc SRD - Nutritionist

Mission Statement
Drawing on their individual knowledge, research on immunology and factors known to influence the body・s vulnerability to cold and flu infections, the Council has developed their top .six ways to fight back・.


A Healthy Lifestyle Helps You Stay Healthy
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables to ensure you get enough vitamin C - the optimum is 5 portions a day V because even a small deficiency in vitamin C has been linked to increased severity of respiratory infections (fresh, juiced, frozen, canned and dried all count)
Keep active V make time for 30 minutes of moderate exercise five days a week, eg. a brisk walk
Try to keep things in perspective - take steps to manage any feelings of stress

Those .At Risk・ Should Be Prepared and Take Precautions
Get vaccinated each year against flu and ask your GP about vaccination against pneumonia
When possible, avoid areas of high infection, eg. hospitals, doctor・s surgeries etc
If you think you may be .at risk・, talk to your doctor or pharmacist

Wash Your Hands Regularly V Whether or Not You Have a Cold or Flu
Cold and flu viruses are spread in droplets of mucus when we cough and sneeze, some of which will be caught on the hands of the infected individual
Hand-to-hand contact with an infected individual, or an object they have touched, allows transfer of the virus
Touching your eyes or nose with an infected hand is one of the easiest ways to catch a cold or flu
So remember V hand rails, door handles etc are all potential sources of cold and flu infection

Drink Plenty of Fluids- Especially When Suffering With a Cold or Flu
An increase in body temperature caused by a cold and flu can cause you to sweat and become dehydrated
So keep the body hydrated V try to drink at least 2 litres of fluid a day (approximately 8 glasses)
Hot drinks are beneficial and can help soothe a sore throat and ease a cough by promoting mucus production

Listen to Your Body
If you are unwell and feel tired, rest to let your body regain the energy it needs to fight back
Get some fresh air
Keep warm, but do not get too hot

You Can Self Medicate
This includes both traditional and herbal medicines
Always read any information provided with a medicine
Ask your pharmacist for advice, especially if you are taking other medication - do not take different products containing paracetamol at the same time

These are the steps that the council believes give sensible advice including ways to help maintain the body・s immune system. This is essential to both decrease the chances of contracting a cold or flu and reduce the severity once caught.

Professor Ron Eccles, Director of the Common Cold Research Unit, comments :Viral respiratory infection, such as colds and flu, are the most common human illness, with the average adult suffering from two or three colds every year.

:Common cold and flu can have a big impact on our quality of life causing us to miss work and cancel social events. Treating symptoms can help us to get on with our life and may also aid recovery because we are less stressed and stress has been shown to lower resistance to common cold and influenza.

:We have developed the six ways to fight back, as simple steps which can be taken to help you boost your immunity, so that your body can fight the infection.

:This lack of public understanding about colds and flu results in many unnecessary surgery visits, which leads to much GPs・ time and resources being wasted.

:We, [the Cold & Flu Council], believe that by providing information on how to prevent and reduce the impact of cold and flu infections, particularly for those most at risk such as infants and the elderly, we can go some way to reducing infections. Ultimately this will help reduce the burden on both GPs and industry.

:We believe that the .six ways to fight back・ provides simple steps which can be easily incorporated into everyday life, helping people to protect themselves and build up their immune systems, giving them every chance of reducing the impact of a cold or the flu.;

The Cold & Flu Council is sponsored by Beechams.


Further information from The Cold & Flu Council is available at www.coldandflucouncil.org. For further information or an interview with a member of The Cold & Flu Council please contact:
Claire Brough / Ross Wilkie
Harvard Public Relations
(020) 8759 0005

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